Monday, November 19, 2012

Soap bars vs Shower gels

One of the changes in my skincare routine I am most happy about, is switching to soap bars instead of using liquid soap. Admittedly... I was first won over by Lush. All the soap looked and smelled delicious, and suddenly they didn't seem so old-fashioned anymore...

After reading up on cosmetic ingredients I realized that some soap bars (a lot of Lush soaps too!) still contain SLS, an ingredient that tends to dry out and irritate the skin. People with normal to oily skin might not be bothered by it so much, but if you have dry or sensitive skin it is prone to make things worse.

On top of that there's a few environmental argument pleading for bar soaps:

  • Containing less harmfull chemicals, they are also less pollutive. This doesn't only affect nature but also our own health, since a lot of chemicals contamine tapwater.
  • Soap bars are often wrapped in paper or a very thin layer of plastic. The packaging is a lot less pollutive than plastic bottles of shower gel.
  • Soap bars are lighter and more compact, so this saves out transport costs and energy.
  • You only have to buy a soap tray once, or use a jar you have lying around.

There's a lot of ways to enjoy your soap even more:

  • Shower puffs are great for getting a maximum amount of foam.
  • Scrubbing gloves are great for exfoliating your skin, without having to use more products.
  • Soap Savers are meant to easily use the last slippery bits of soap left from your bar.
  • Since bar soap lather is often a lot creamier, you can use it as a shaving cream.
  • If you really prefer your soap liquid, you can easily turn your bar soap into a liquid version, and even add extra ingredients. Find out how here.

It's really hard to find inexpensive shower gels that don't contain SLS, but after searching online and in stores I found a lot of bar soaps that are SLS-free. My current favorites are Black Magic Soap from One Hand Washes The Other and the Lemon and Verbena soap from Le Petit Olivier.

Which kind of soap do you prefer?
What are your favorite bar soaps?



  1. I've been using shower gels or liquid soaps for ages because they're more convenient and do not leave a mess. I have dry skin and after reading post, I think I should go back to try soap bars again.

  2. I'm actually allergic to soap bars, I think. I can usually use liquid soaps, but I just find soap in general to be horribly irritating.


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